PHO705: Guest Lecture (Publication) – Christiane Monarchi Part 2

Watch this Guest Lecture video and comment.

This is a lecture designed to help artists/photographers take their work forward and is based on experience in the art market and photography competitions.

The idea is to think of the product and object product quality. Lower quality can be of greater value. Long-lasting ink helps as does a small edition size where 3 might be better than 20 is unique. Start with low prices and grow with later editions after sell out.

Consider mounting so collectors can store as archival photographs and longevity affects price.

Another consideration is to prepare a statement for later to be condensed. Have own words ready to go.

It’s better to have updates on the website rather than separate CV. It is valid to have an interchange say with other students and record their interpretation of work. It is very different to only the artist’s own words and less emotional and personal.

Social media should be about you and promote others exhibitions. Link back to the website.

Advice from an RA talk was given. Then different types of gallery were classified.

In another part of the guest lecture consideration and advice was given over Competitions (and residencies) and of Collectives where people foster creativity and show together.

PHO705: Guest Lecture (Publication) – Christiane Monarchi Part 1

Watch this Guest Lecture video and comment.

Christiane set-up Photomonitor and explained how this was set-up from her getting involved in Pluck and Portfolio and a desire to find out what was on. across a range of areas over and above the large institutions. She would advise in how to set up a niche.

Gaps were found in the offerings of:

  • Art List – large institutions
  • Art Rabbit.com – global and no UK focus
  • New Exhibitions Guide – major mostly historic items
  • British Journal of Photography – stopped doing listings
  • Photoworks – annual, great read but infrequent

Christiane’s requirement was UK and Ireland centric, for artists and emerging writers and all in an up to date guide of what’s on now. Here need was to bring people to photography and go and see it, think about it and spread the word. All without ads and is free.

The result in 2011 was www.photomonitor.co.uk. From the front page, key links are the Portfolio link written by the artist rather than mediated, there are listings sometimes with reading more depending on the gallery and their subscription. There are Reviews including of live exhibitions. Interviews talking to artists. Essays that have been researched. Auctions cover smaller upcoming auctions. Collections are interviews. Book reviews cover self-published and large publishers.

Christiane encourages artists to take a break and listen to others.

In terms of making a publication the 5 Years’ statistics were given:

The right hand column draws funding and that pays for commissioning the items on the right as community members.

In summary there are many many opportunities to see work that is shared.

Commissioned pieces are paid at 20p a word to a maximum as a budget constraint. 500 words on a screen are practical.

Commissioning is wider than London covering Wales and Ireland. Timeliness is key as mentioned to get people to the exhibitions. Social media is important for sharing.

t: @photomonitor

Christiane talked about potential for growing Photomonitor including into streaming of live audience talks.

Some Inspiring Platforms were listed:

Anyone with new ideas is encouraged to get in contact.

Response to Online Publication.

It is always exciting to see the smaller business venture establish itself and succeed. Any personal involvement would be to read Photomonitor and assess how it stands alongside say for example, major gallery memberships.

The online element is approached as a Portfolio website and as Instagram for marketing (planned) not to mention this blog site created for the MA Photography course.

There is still more to discover in Part 2 of Christiane’s guest lecture.

PHO705: Guest Lecture Alex Bailey

The video can be found here.

Alex is a Commercial Photographer working over several decades on marketing and publicity for film and television.

He described how this work is delineated and gave examples of commissioned work, a concept sheet and a mood board.

As we as students have learned to do, Alex for the first time was faced with making a presentation of; his own influences; what brought him to photography and which book and photographic names encouraged him to become a Commercial photographer, one who brings his own artistic integrity.

Key aspects of career had been: the opening up of the closed shop practices that existed prior to the Thatcher political era, and the impact of the transition to digital on technical and business practice.

The practicalities of commercial practice were illuminated. The passion Alex has for his subject is clear.

Personally, what was said resonated clearly with some fairly recent education on the film industry. This industry is active in the local region around London.

Copious notes were taken. I shan’t dwell on this lecture even though it was thoroughly enjoyed as a contrasting practice to my own. Seeing Alex’s work and getting such insight into his contrasting practice was a great help in understanding my own practice.

PHO705: Guest Lecture (Publication) – Sarah Davidmann (Uncut)

Sarah is a lecturer at London’s LCC

Here is the lecture. The main photographic project is based on letters between sisters over a hidden relationship that of a secret transgender female Ken married to one of the sisters known as aunt Hazel. All this was at a time when there was no recognition or language to frame identities.

Identity was sympathetically dealt with and Ken becomes K(ay) and her or she.

There is a book “Ken – to be destroyed”. This began as a small personal project but created an unexpected level of interest. The conversation led to working on the project and exhibiting in Liverpool. There were uncertainties from gaps in the texts.

Sarah found more including family photographs. As she worked with the materials this led to working physically in the darkroom as a natural extension of handling physical materials. The working with a family archive was a first for Sarah.

The work is robust having nowadays a universal message of identity. The work presents well as small groups of images and as a book.

The book was a collaboration with Val Williams who helped with the edit that combined family archive material with Sarah’s work. Working collaboratively proved very useful.

Both Sarah and today’s host began their artistic lives as painters.

The personal aspects were seen to be of interest to audiences. There is a universality of family with all the problems family present that viewers can insert themselves into.

Another aspect of the German Jewish family is the next piece of work. It is still, based on family history but now covers the Holocaust. The project is approached from a very personal perspective and in an intimate way. An album carried on the Kindertransport is a material source for this new work.

Final Photo Project

Sarah’s project was allowed to develop and that is important compared to planning exactly how the work should be from the outset.

A point in common is the use of family archive photographs. High-resolution scanning, alternative processing of the images and concentrating on the surface condition are strong elements of Sarah’s work. Obliteration of identity became a step in which aunt was translated into clothing only or into the uncle.

This compares with using the photos for the final photo project which are scanned for smaller size reproduction. The idea was not to overwhelm the abstract images at the core of the project. Recently one image from the archive was layered with an image of mitochondrial glow and connecting thus with an ancestor from the maternal line. This has a key significance.

The history of a family is also common as is the impact of 20th-century war.

Bibliography

Photographs Sarah Davidmann from Falmouth Guest Lecture

PHO705: Guest Lecture Sebastian Bruno

The video can be watched here.

An Argentinian photographer based in Wales from Newport University, Bruno is now based in Paris.

Bruno photographed in a dance club above a place he waited in. Using flash created an aesthetic he seemed to use extensively but disliked so turned to black and white.

This reduced the number of images and was more hands-on in developing and printing. He preferred the timeless look with few signs of the modern world.

light breaks where no sun shines pictures from Wales 2013-2019

Duelos y Quebrantos 2104-2018

In another project, Bruno contrasted a small Spanish village that represented his culture with Castilla La Mancha. He followed the places visited by fictional character Don Quixote (and Sancho Panza). This required a lot of travel by foot and sometimes other means.

A book was published, Grief and Sorrow.

The project took 4 years and Bruno needed to obtain part funding for an otherwise self funded project.

Bruno started some editorial work that allowed him to maintain complete control. He tried to work collaboratively and started to create some staged images. The outcome was that some staged images looked un-staged and vice versa.

Here is the library link to the book.

The Dynamic Newspaper 2015-present (Bruno, 2019)

The story of two people who tried to keep the last Abertillery newspaper alive. A commission was offered by the BBC but they would not let Bruno create a film without any previous video skills. In the end, he acted as director and collaborated with a videographer.

Apart from the film, there was an exhibition in Cardiff that included a recreation of the newspaper office. A phone would ring and a voice would direct the viewer around the office.

Julian from the Dynamic is helping to write part of the book. Seven months were spent filming. At the end of this Bruno was very tired and took off a whole of September to rest.

Bruno’s inspiration for storytelling comes from film and literature.

Bibliography

Bruno, S. (2019) The Dynamic Duo. Wales: BBC TWO. Available at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m00098mm.

PHO705: Guest Lecture with Andy Hughes

Introduction

Andy Hughes is an artist based in Cornwall and he investigates the relationships between consumption, plastic waste and the defilement of the land and sea. Hughes is interested in radical conceptions of materialism and the implications this has for politics, ecology and the everyday way we think of ourselves, others, and the world. 

As preparation, the audience was asked to watch the film Plastic Scoop on Vimeo. There is also a Zine about this film. It is on Issuu.

The FMP Photo Project

Following the viewings above the immediate question must be about the Video Documentary and Video Gamification post that introduced Verdun a successful WW1 game on XBox. There is a possibility of cutting scenes into the photo project. Given the work is about the What and less so about the How, then this could become a diversion. The intent would as always be to contextualise the Abstract Expressionistic images at the core of the project to give the viewer more scope to follow the theme or themes.

Plastic Scoop above is a collaborative effort taking 6 months to create and demonstrates the scope to be largely beyond that of a Final Major Project FMP.

Lecture

A summary is provided here of some of the main points from Andy’s guest lecture and with particular reference to MA Major Project practice.

Early work was in part didactic as a way was sought of helping campaigns. The way an artist works is different though.

The book Novascene (Lovelock, 2019) was given as a recommended reading in terms of the theme connecting the past, present and future. Lovelock is the author of the Gaia Principle.

It was noted that in Aboriginal culture, thinking does not have to be linear as in Western culture. The image below depicts the concentric and a representation of thinking moving in any number of ways.

The area around Castleford which Andy has a childhood connection with transformed from coal mining to businesses’ that feature single-use materials (McDonalds and KFC).

Interest was found in the sport of surfing and this led to an awareness of beach litter. In photographing surfing comparison was drawn between the UK and the classic portrayal of surfing in sun-baked climes.

A new series of work was created using colourful plastic waste.

Also, in travels to the USA an unravelling golf ball was shot and in the background is the menace of a polluting plant.

Work was also made based on the waste found at outdoor events such as Glastonbury.

As an artist, there is a connection with making and so still life photographs of waste were combined with paintings.

Nostalgia was raised as a topic. Nostalgia is popular at the moment as it makes people feel comfortable in uncomfortable times.

At various points, during the presentation, there was a prescience: subjects photographed (e.g. rat, glove, stick) photographed as the same composition decades earlier.

In a comment about carbon usage, it was noted that Photography has in its DNA this thing about travel. So what can be done to limit the carbon footprint?

Working on plastic scoop meant spending 6 months in the studio and that limited travel.

There was work currently close to being exhibited. There is the whole question of how you keep in contact with the curator as there is a balance. Big-name artists can probably call the shots while the lesser-known have to be more patient.

Bibliography

Lovelock, J. and Appleyard, B. (2019) Novascene The Coming Age of Hyperintelligence. Kindle. UK: Penguin Random House. Available at: http://www.penguin.co.uk.

PHO705: Guest Lecture Laura Pannack

Artist website: https://laurapannack.com/

The website has a shop portal with items that can be purchased. There is also an image of the week blog which Laura endeavours to update each Thursday or best she can.

Laura is an artist whose work is based on portraiture. At first, there appears to be no overlap with the photo project, yet when archive images are included for contextualisation, then there the overlap may become apparent. Laura makes her own portraits of course, where those with a connection to the photo project are from the family archive.

The introduction – a social documentary photographer, producing self-initiated, private projects for Laura.

Two questions – how do we make work? Why do we make work? Laura’s work is Fine Art, Social Documentary.

She was encouraged to try every genre while studying at university. Having a younger sister enabled Laura to explore an interest in teenagers especially given there was access. Noted characteristics of teenagers were awareness and lack of self-awareness.

Laura is engaged in commissioned artworks and short term projects. She always has a desire to learn about her subjects. Consideration is given to “what is it that interests me about the subject?” Working on a commission means working to a deadline, which depending on the individual, can be really useful. It has often led to good research done on time and the commission ensures work is completed.

One commission Digital Self Esteem, Selfies and self-worth, related to the selfie culture and was produced for the Saatchi Gallery. This used two-way mirrors and allowed the teen to settle their gaze on themselves for 20 minutes for each shot. Another commission Separation, What does Brexit mean for love, was for the BJP. The first thing was to realise a limitation over politics of not being well-read enough or intellectual enough. It made sense to go back to what the artist knew and the work rested on relationships and love. Tests were made using a latex screen in a studio. Photographs depicted couples likely to be torn apart by one of them having to return to their country of origin. The chosen approach was not too controversial.

Working Methods

In determining the working method, there are the following: what’s your voice? What is your sense of style?

Sometimes it is a relief to not to think too deeply, but normally Laura does research long and hard.

Searching for a sense of style

We were challenged to think about our sense of style and comment on what our signature style is.

Sometimes you can look at an artist’s work and recognise the style. You then may wonder if they will ever break out and do something dramatically different, do something really wild.

Hockney was able to paint on an iPad and was able to take the risk. HE can do this as he has done everything else so well.

People

Sometimes it has been a case of learning the hard way. You need to be clear about your reason for approaching people.

Portfolio Reviews

Portfolio reviews are an excellent way of gaining feedback and need to be structured: what is your reaction to this and why, then how can improvement?

Long Term Projects

Young British Naturists

Young British naturists was a long term project and involved an immense amount of relationship building, organising and planning. The personal project gave the opportunity to take control. “We’ll be shooting over here if you can gather”. Then when a shot seemed likely, the lighting was set-up.

Over a two week shoot, 36 rolls of film were used, but due to a camera fault, only one image was salvaged. A great deal of care was taken to adjust the positions because of the nudity.

Purity

Purity ran over eight years. The intent was to bring out love, family, traditions and femininity within the Jewish community. Preparation included working in local clubs to get into the community. However, barriers remained – Jewish women did not want to be photographed. The work initially focused on three families but this reduced down (or was reduced to) just one. Photographing meant going back to the same room every time.

Youth Without Age

Youth Without Age, An exploration of the fragility of life derived from a sense of age slowly advancing. Sketchbooks were kept. The subjects also sketched. Old Romanian films and theatre productions were watched. Cynically, perhaps other artists work was analysed e.g Alec Soth and his use of water.

The Cracker

Just be with people and shoot. A voice in the back of the head kept asking, “Why are you shooting”.

Projects in General

Some projects ran over 8 or 9 years, while with others it was a case of just shoot.

A visual notebook is kept with images stored on Dropbox. Here they are always available for inspiration. This is useful when making new commissions.

One project involved selecting a railway destination at random i.e. selected with eyes closed. A day would be spent shooting at the selected location. The weekly image blog is updated every Thursday with one picture with a reason why.

Laura is a guest on A Small Voice podcast.

PHO705: Guest Lecture Nick Dunmur AoP

Nick Dunmur on video.

Students are able to join the AOP. I met Nick at the 2018 Birmingham Photography Show. The guest lecture is well-timed as the Forth cohort begin to take their work public.

Your pictures your copyright

Copyright automatically belongs to you. Exceptions exist for images used in the US which need to be registered with the US Copyright Office USCO.

Cover exists for 70 years from the end of the year the author survives.

Assign is like selling your house. License is like rent.

Copyright exceptions:

  • employment (full-time salaried staff)
  • incidental inclusion
  • criticism and review
  • research and private study

Other exceptions:

  • parody
  • private use
  • orphan works

Edges are not clearly defined and funny is subjective.

If you blew up a Crewdson print and put it on your wall, you’d have to safeguard it from anyone else seeing it. That would be difficult to get away with.

A fee can be paid to the IPO for orphan work in case there is a later challenge,

Different ways of contracting exist in different areas.

Advertising, Design and Corporate sector

  • Media
  • Territory
  • Time

… are the basis of charging

  • Exclusivity
  • Base Usage Rate

BUR wants to start at a daily rate. You’ll never negotiate up from a low figure but may wish to negotiate down from a higher figure.

Editorial Markets

There are many titles and only a few publishers. They may offer you a contract. It is not an employment contract.

First British Serial Rights FSBR would say cover one issue and thereafter the photographer regains the copyright for Second British Serial Rights. Check if Syndication is mentioned as this could cause your work to be reused. Check if a fee is mentioned and whether or not the fee level is acceptable.

If versions of paperwork appear then check and refute anything that is out of line. Anything issued once the work has started is post-contract and not acceptable.

Moral rights

Assert your moral right to be credited as the creator of your own work. Assert in writing. They are obliged to give you credit. You may have knocked off a percentage of the fee for this so it would be a loss.

You have a right to prevent derogatory use of your work, for example with a portrait if they resize an image to fit a box or crop an edge off and it makes your work look amateurish. Similarly, you do not want someone else’s work to be attributed as yours as it may affect your professionalism and stop a client from hiring you.

There is a right of the commissioner to prevent publication. A newly married couple could return from honeymoon to find their wedding photos all over social media before they have even seen the photographs.

Moral right cannot be sold but can be wavered.

Put a statement on your website to assert your moral rights.

When a contract is given to you it may be boilerplate and not be suited to your contract. Rebut if it is wrong. The person issuing the contract typically has a second, third and fourth version where you cannot agree.

Read everything in a contract before you agree or sign. Send copies of your terms to different departments as finance may never talk to the creative group. If you give them a PDF include a layer to remind them of the terms of use. Otherwise, include a terms file with the JPEG.

Software plug-ins

These plug into Lightroom. There is a plugin to populate an image with meta-data. Another to track and manage image use.

PHO705: Guest Lecture (Research) – Caroline Molloy

This is the link to the Guest Lecture video.

Caroline studied Visual Anthropology for her MA. She now teaches (third-year student photographers) and is researching for her PhD.

Two main projects were discussed:

  • The Untouched Copy and
  • The Deportment Guide – photographs from a flea market but with identity hidden by hard cropping tops of heads)

The first project shown was about studios based initially in India. On a personal note as a Studio worker, it remains true that the MA Project is conducted outside of the studio environment.

By re-visiting India, to re-photograph what was revealed were the numbers of studios impacted by digital, and how this led to closures. Backgrounds had been traditional Victorian (photography had been a Victorian export to the colony).

The project themes were; studios, the owners, and the transition eventually from photographic film. Some research objectives firmed up during the project. In order to get permission to photograph the studio owner Caroline needed to agree to being photographed. This made the genre Autoethnographic. There were many norms to be learned in making the work. Communication and cultural norms had to be learned.

The work moved from studio to studio, following recommendations. Interviews were to be had with owners, their families. The work spread wider as the story and structure were forming.

Studio owners made a living but may have had to also sell gems or even slippers. There is a clear commercial side to photography in addition to the academic.

Caroline was very open about her work. The work went through a transitional phase and entered a liminal space. She adopted socially engaged conversations.

Cultural aspects mentioned:

  • Sending a business card with a model’s photo (not her own)
  • Mother Teresa played down by the official photographer
  • Owner not wanting to be photographed with flowers
  • Photograph me I’ll photograph you
  • A backdrop of English garden scene

Each point involved an unexpected re-interpretation or potential misunderstanding.

While the work was being made and interviews were obtained a notebook was kept that became part of the published work.

As an autoethnographer, it took time to learn. Knowing the kinds of questions to ask is important.

The work went public and was exhibited in Jaipur. Initially, there was a book made on Blurb with a page layout of; photo, photo, notebook, notebook.

After a series of annual trips, it became clear that Autoethnographic communities needed to be more accessible i.e. within walking distance. Carolin’s work turned to the Turkish community in London. This project examines Turkish studio practice, English studio practice and the emerging mix of the two.

Access to the subject is key to our MA students. The work still has to be true to the students’ ambitions and be authentic.

Bibliography

All photographs courtesy Caroline Molloy Autoenthnographer from Falmouth University guest lecture (research).